Learning from podcasts

A great way to get free updates, news, ideas and development is to listen to podcasts. You can listen to them on the commute, whilst you’re having lunch, doing the chores. It’s really easy to try one out and subscribe – and equally easy to drop it if it’s not delivering what you wanted.

Here are my top 6 podcasts, the ones I’ve stayed subscribed to over a long time as they consistently deliver essential news, thought-provocation, insights and ideas:

1. BBC Business Daily

‘The daily drama of money and work from the BBC’ draws on the Beeb’s vast resources all over the world. Podcasts cover current affairs, workplace behaviour, developing markets, politics, resources and commodities – you get the idea, there’s a huge variety. Interviewees are frequently given a thorough grilling by the presenters – no bad thing. Check them out here.

2. The Broad Experience

‘A conversation about women, the workplace and success’, The Broad Experience podcasts are produced by Ashley Milne-Tyte, a British-born writer, radio broadcaster, teacher and consultant based in New York. Her guests have ranged from an 81 year-old former U.S. Governor (whose advice includes “you have more in you than you think”) to a college leaver. Find out more here.

3. HBR IdeaCast

‘A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review’. Not surprisingly biased towards the U.S., this podcast delivers interviews with writers whose pieces appear in the respected Harvard Business Review and/or the HBR blog. Some have a new book to promote; others have rich and varied experience that it’s really interesting to hear, such as Automatic’s founder and CEO Matt Mullenweg, former U.S. Senate majority leader George Mitchell, and author Salman Rushdie. Sample the podcasts here.


A must if you’re involved in HR, training and development, talent management – and enlightening for anyone who manages people. The UK’s professional body for HR and people development delivers a feed that includes their own experts’ views as well as real-world examples from people doing the job. Find out more here.

5. All in the mind

This ‘Programme exploring the limits and potential of the human mind’ is another podcast from the BBC, presented by the wonderful Claudia Hammond. This podcast is seasonal rather than week in, week out, but well worth catching when it’s on. More info here.

6. Listen to Lucy

‘Lucy Kellaway, the FT’s management columnist, pokes fun at management fads and jargon, and celebrates the ups and downs of office life’. I must confess to laughing out loud in the gym to Lucy Kellaway’s acerbic and always accurate observations of the nonsense that pops up in organisational life. Short and seldom sweet, this feed is a good leveller. Sample the podcasts here.

What’s your favourite feed? Please enter a comment to share.

Dawn is the author of ‘How to be Zoomly at work’, available on Amazon.

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